& aging not-so-gracefully

For people who know me, this is not a secret: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. This isn’t really a popular opinion, and it usually tends to get overshadowed by Christmas, but it’s my favorite. There are two simple reasons for that—food and presents.

“Wait a minute,” you say. “There are no presents on Thanksgiving. You are talking about Christmas, dummy.”

Normally, yes. But my Thanksgiving involves presents. That’s because my birthday is right in the midst of the Thanksgiving hoopla. And since it’s usually easier for family to get together once and call it good, we usually combine Thanksgiving and my birthday celebration. I know people (like Karli) who sometimes get their birthdays mixed in with Christmas and hate it, which I can completely understand. However, in my case, I’m the only one getting presents, and you can’t really ask for a better dinner than Thanksgiving dinner, and I prefer pie to cake any day, so I dig Thanksgiving birthday. It’s really pretty amazing.

Every few years, like this year, my birthday actually falls on Thanksgiving. This year was even extra special, because it was also the day I turned three whole decades old. Yep, I’m 30.

And I don’t get it. I don’t understand the big deal with it. My friend Luke keeps trying to impart the gravity of my elderliness (especially since he turned 30 earlier this year), but it fails to hit home. I’m convinced that it’s because I’m horrifically out-of-shape. Luke is a runner and takes pretty good care of himself. He probably doesn’t need to confront his mortality till the number of candles on his birthday cake pose a fire hazard. I, on the other hand, being the guy who treats his body less like a temple and more like a rented bouncy house, have had back problems and trouble breathing and achy joints* since I was in college. I’ve felt like I’m in my 40s since I was 20. Realizing I’m 30 makes me feel like I’m somehow coming out ahead.

*And ::ahem:: a receding hairline.

This doesn’t mean I don’t feel old. I do. It’s just not my age that makes me feel old. You know what did make me feel old the other day?

Ghostbusters 2. No shit.

Yes, it’s the inferior of the Ghostbuster movies and it’s 23 years old and I can remember when it came out and I did the math. That’s not what makes me feel old, though. I realized, as I was watching it the other day, that it’s the opening scene. You know the one, where Zuul Dana is chatting up her building superintendent and her baby’s stroller starts driving itself away, weaving through traffic and pulling up short of a bus?

No joke—scared me shitless. I may have peed a little, which also makes me feel old, but that’s a different post for a different day.

As I was watching that, I realized 1) that even though I’ve seen that sequence a hundred times and knew how it would end, I couldn’t keep from being so terrified for that baby’s safety, and 2) as concerned as I was, I was even more focused on the fact that the baby’s stroller didn’t have straps. On a busy street! In New York! Okay, that part made me feel young, but the first one, where I was legitimately scared for a baby I knew was going to be fine, was when I realized my age.

I could no longer watch it the same way I did when I was little. I’m a parent. I’m old. I see the world in a different way now. No going back.

It’s cool though. It seems like I’ve always felt old. Now turn down that racket. Some of us have to work in the morning.

Let’s face it—this is really the only reason you come here. Damn cute baby pictures.

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& don’t call it a comeback

Man, November, amiright? Every time I got ready to write a post, one of two things would happen: 1) Squatch would poop or spit up and I’d have to go change him before the baby rot kicked in, or 2) I’d read around the bloggy-verse and notice that The #$&!% Mommy just wrote what I was going to talk about. Seriously, every damn time. That’s what happens when you have kids three days apart. Shit goes down practically simultaneously. And our rugrats are practically the same kid, except mine’s the Hulk to her kid’s Bruce Banner* (though the Shotgun Fetus could totally whomp em both [but he totally wouldn’t]). All you gotta do is read her blog three days late and it’s the same thing as reading mine (only mine’s not quite as funny).

*For the record, Squatch was about 25 inches and just a shade under 16 pounds. That put him in the high 70-ish percentile in height and low 70-ish in weight I think. His giant dome was in the 80-ish percentile, and his feet are probably in about the 114th percentile. Dude has been in 6-12 month socks for two months now. He turns five months in a couple days. Sasquatch only begins to cover it.

For example, we decided to give Squatch his first shot at solid food on Thanksgiving by mashing a little potato in with some formula. We took some video of it, even. I finally get time to go put it up and what do I find? Yep. Can’t hate, though. #$&!% Baby’s pretty cute. But just for shits and grins, here’s the potato-eater:

As you can tell, he loved it.

So to force myself to write something, I’ll talk about awards for now. Specifically the fake award that Broken Condoms and Shotgun Fetus have lavished on me. It’s called a Liebster*, and for the sake of content, we’ll play this little game.

*I believe this is German for “writer’s block.”

First, the rules:

  1. Answer the 11 questions written by your nominator.
  2. Nominate 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
  3. Write 11 of your own questions for each nominee to answer.

These questions weren’t written by the nominator, but they’re the ones they answered, so we’ll go with that:

1. What is your favorite post you have written?

That’s a three-way tie: I like this one, because it’s the whole reason for doing this. I like this one because I find it funny. And I like this one because I used the F-word.

2. Why did you begin blogging?

I was staring down the barrel of impending fatherhood and noticed the majority of role models presented for dads in the media were uninvolved doofuses. I didn’t want to be one of those, so I searched the internet for some advice on being a dad (and dad-to-be). I was disappointed with the lack of what I found, so I started writing stuff, most of it nonsensical and pointless. Along the way, I managed to find several other dad bloggers who are doing it right, and a whole lot of moms, too.

3. Why do you blog now?

I don’t know. Do I still? I guess it’s for a couple reasons. I want to keep some kind of record, in my own way, of Squatch as he grows up, and any other little siblings that might coming along, too. I also wanted to be able to provide some of that dad advice to dummies like me who don’t want to be like Guys with Kids and might stumble on this through the Google.

4. What is your favorite date night activity?

We went to a movie with our in-laws last weekend for their anniversary. That’s about it for date nights recently. So I guess movies with the in-laws.

5. You have an entire day to yourself, what do you do with it?

Ha! You’re obviously new here.

6. If you could give one piece of advice to other moms, what would it be?

Well, I guess it’ll be just moms, not “other moms,” since, y’know—wiener. My advice would be to trust Dad. Most of us got this. It’ll be in our own way, but we got this. Till we prove otherwise, you can trust us.

7. Imagine you went back in time to talk to your 18-year-old self, what would you tell her?

Him. Again—wiener. I tell him those pants look stupid. And get in the habit of exercising so he didn’t turn out to look like me.

8. What Christmas tradition have you developed in your family that you love?

We decided to start a couple this year, I guess. When I say we, I mean Karli. Karli decided.

First, we get pajamas. One person picks out pajamas for everyone, wraps them and puts them under the tree. We open them Christmas Eve and that’s what we wear to bed and for Christmas morning. This year Karli picked. Next year is my year. Squatch is the year after that—when he’s two. That should be fun.

The other is that Squatch gets a book every year, and it’s the same deal as the pajamas. Open it Christmas Eve, we read it that night for bedtime. The one I got him this year is a doozy. I’ll tell you about it soon.

9. Any pets?

A cat and a dog.

10. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My intense self-loathing. And I make a pretty mean Chicago-style deep dish pizza. You’re invited to come over and try it sometime.

11. What did you study in school?

I didn’t. Study, that is. I majored in English though. And got a grad degree in creative writing. Now I teach English. None of which is evident anywhere on this blog.

Here’s where I’m supposed to nominate some people. I think pretty much everything I read has been nominated by the two ladies who nominated me, though, so I’ll skip that part and say you should check out everything linked to the right. Good folks, all. I don’t know how to figure out who has 200 followers or less, anyway.

I’m going to be lazy and not do new questions, too. This post is getting long anyway. More next time. I’ll give some kind of Squatch update and talk about the latest milestones in both our lives, review some stuff, and talk about turning 30.

Till next time, folks—watch where he’s steppin.

Respect the Squatch feet.